1) “The Resident,” 8 p.m. Tuesday, Fox. When the World Series went a full seven games, we lost two Tuesdays and Wednesdays on Fox. Now they’re back, starting here with airline troubles – a pilot with a drinking problem; a tough flight for Dr. Bell. Some hospital scenes are cliché (the patient resisting treatment) or unlikely (mid-surgery sniping), but the non-medical scenes are excellent: Mina ponders fresh responsibility; The Raptor (Malcolm-Jamal Warner, shown here in a previous episode) hesitantly considers meeting his birth mother.
2) “Empire,” 9 p.m. Tuesday, Fox. In its final season, this is going all-out soap opera. That’s clear at the start of the hour – an explosive flashforward, then a cemetery vow. Things stay heated as Lucious competes with his son over music smarts and with Cookie over control of their mansion. Stick around; late in the episode is a new version of how the label started. It’s a strong hour, after a two-week break. Also returning after two weeks are “The Masked Singer” and “Almost Family,” 8-10 p.m. Wednesday.
3) “Little Mermaid Live,” 8-10 p.m. Tuesday, ABC. Here’s a promising experiment, a movie/concert mash-up. Along with a studio audience, we’ll be watching the excellent, 1989 movie about the mermaid who wants to sample land and love. When it’s time for a song, the screen will come up and a live production number will begin. Auli’i Cravalho sings the title role, with Queen Latifah as Ursula, Shaggy as Sebastian, John Stamos as the French chef and Graham Phillips as handsome Prince Eric.
4) More musicals, Friday. It’s a musical week, with “Little Mermaid” and more: At 8 p.m. Friday is the first hour of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” a scripted show pretending to be a documentary, with teens trying out for the school show; that’s on ABC, which will put the rest on its new streaming service. And at 9, PBS has the lush “The King and I.” Viewers will struggle with the length (two hour, 40 minutes) and Ken Watanabe’s accent, but Kelli O’Hara and the co-stars are terrific.
5) “Jeopardy,” 7 p.m. today through Friday, KFSN. The “Tournament of Champions” begins, drawing extra interest after James Holzhauer’s streak. He won 32 straight nights and his $2.46 million almost matched the non-tourney record of Ken Jennings ($2.52 million, with 75 wins). He finally lost to Emma Boettcher, a young librarian who won twice more, totaling $98,000. Holzhauer is scheduled for Wednesday and Boettcher for Thursday; they could meet during the tourney’s second half, next week.
6) “His Dark Materials” debut, 9 p.m today., HBO. With “Game of Thrones” gone and one of its prequels nixed, HBO wants a new fantasy epic. There’s “Watchmen” at 9 p.m. Sunday and there’s this one, adapting Phillip Pullman novels. Dafne Keen, 14, stars as Lyra, an orphan who discovers sinister secrets from her elders (James McAvoy and Ruth Wilson). Searching for her friend, she heads into alternate dimensions and meets confronts people, both good (including Lyn-Manuel Miranda) and evil.
7) “Will & Grace,” 9:30 p.m. Thursday, NBC. This has been a double burst of good news: “Will & Grace” returned months earlier than expected … and is as slick and sharp as ever. Now Grace battles the condo president about rules. And Karen battles her ex-husband’s brother (Patton Oswalt) in poker. And Will and Jack battle each other about receding hairlines. Much of this is loud and blunt; in the wrong hands, it would be awful. But James Burrows, TV’s best comedy director, keeps it all on track.
8) “Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary Celebration,” 7 p.m. Saturday, HBO. The good news is that some things last forever: “Sesame Street” started on Nov. 10, 1969, bringing grown-up wit to kids; this special is on the eve of the 50-year mark. And the bad: HBO bought first-run rights to the series; PBS – which started “Sesame” – doesn’t get the special until Nov. 17. For now, catch regular episodes at11 a.m. and 1 p.m. weekdays on KVPT and 10 a.m. and 2 and 10 p.m. weekdays on digital Channel 18.2.
9) “Back to Life” debut, 10 and 10:30 p.m Sunday, Showtime. At 9 p.m., Showtime starts the 10th season of “Shameless,” with the shameful behavior of Frank (William H. Macy). But the surprise is the show that follows. In just six half-hours (on three Sundays), it has humor, drama and a big finish, answering questions. Daisy Haggard created it and stars as someone who was convicted of murder as a teen-ager. After 18 years in prison, she’s back to a little seaside town, where even her parents are wary.
10) People’s Choice Awards, 9-11 p.m. Saturday, E. After 43 years on CBS, this slid to E last year. Now it’s back, with awards for movies, TV, music, pop-culture and even an animal category. Since this is about stargazing, the red-carpet preview (7-9) is as long as the show. The movie nominees are sequels and reboots, plus the horror film “Us.” TV nominees are “Game of Thrones,” “Stranger Things,” “Walking Dead,” “Big Bang,” “Riverdale,” “This Is Us,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and (really) “WWE Raw.”(really) “